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The millirobot now introduced by the Max Planck researchers in Stuttgart moves over land and water. Jellyfish and caterpillars are just two of the natural role models that inspired the scientists. © Alejandro Posada / MPI for Intelligent Systems

Millirobot with a talent for versatility of movement

A magnetic drive allows a tiny untethered vehicle to walk, crawl, jump and swim through a complex environment

Tiny robots need not fear obstacle courses in the future: Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed a minuscule, flexible robot that can master a variety of forms of movement. Its magnetic drive allows it to walk, crawl and roll through difficult terrain. Moreover, it can transport small loads and swim on and in liquids. In future, tiny robots moving in this way could transport medication specifically to where it is needed.


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Wenqi Hu
Senior Research Scientist
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Guo Zhan Lum
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Metin Sitti